Rolls-Royce announce £150m to double jet-engine production

Global engineering leviathan, Rolls-Royce, has announced a £150m programme of capital investments with the aim of doubling its jet-engine production capacity and help to retain more than 7,000 UK jobs.

This turbofan jet engine is the power plant for the Airbus A350 XWB - image courtesy of Rolls-Royce.
This turbofan jet engine is the power plant for the Airbus A350 XWB – image courtesy of Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce has announced the building of a new test bed for large turbofan jet engines at its Derby production site in response to a record volume of orders from civilian aircraft builders.

The British multinational aerospace company noted that the investments are underpinned by agreements with union representatives and is expected to help to retain more than 7,000 jobs, and will be made over the next few years.

President of Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, Eric Schulz explained: “This investment comes at a time of unprecedented growth in Rolls-Royce. We are doubling the production of new engines at the same time as introducing three new engines to the market.”

The new test bed will be available for testing a range of engines, including the Trent XWB, described by Rolls-Royce as “the world’s fastest selling civil large engine with more than 1,600 on order from 45 customers.”

This turbofan jet engine is the power plant for the Airbus A350 XWB, and each one carries an estimated cost of $35m.

In addition to manufacturing and maintenance, the Derby complex is the design and development centre for three new engines: the Trent XWB-97, which will power the Airbus A350-1000, the Trent 1000 TEN, for all three variants of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the Trent 7000, for the Airbus A330neo.

Other engine programmes though to benefit from the new investments include the Trent 700 (for Airbus A330 jets) and Trent 900 (for Airbus A380 aircraft) engines – both of which are also produced in Derby.

Furthermore, Rolls-Royce reportedly has plans to update its large engine maintenance repair & overhaul (MRO) operation in Derby, as well as its engine manufacturing plants in Derby and nearby Hucknall.

Business Secretary, Greg Clark MP commented: “This announcement underpins the critical role the UK plays within the global aerospace sector. The UK and Rolls-Royce are known throughout the world as pioneers of advanced engineering technology. I welcome the confidence the company is showing in the UK. This is just the type of investment our modern Industrial Strategy is looking to attract. These new facilities are good news for Rolls-Royce, its UK suppliers and our economy.”